There are many things that you have to understand and then make informed decisions about your diet and your workout routine.
The first and most important thing you need to realize is that shedding muscle is not the same as shedding fat.
Fat is the excess mass that is stored under our skin in layers, making us look bulky and out of shape, whereas muscle mass is what gives us a toned look and provides strength and speed.
Sufficient muscles are vital for better stamina, healthy metabolism, and better control over your body.
Despite this important distinction, there are several mistakes that even professionals make. These weight loss mistakes in the longer runs may burn muscles instead of fat, which is totally against the whole point of working out and eating clean in the first place.
1. Too Much Cardio
There are many fitness junkies who believe running for hours on a treadmill is the perfect, most fool-proof way of burning fat.
On the contrary, running on a treadmill for hours is a good way to burn your body’s fuel resources. These include fat and muscle both.
Therefore, if you do too much cardio on a treadmill, your body is bound to run out of fat to burn and then use your muscle mass to provide energy for your body.
Coupled with a calorie deficit diet, too much cardio can wear out your stamina, and you will soon realize that you are not able to run for as long you used to. This happens when your body starts cannibalizing muscle.
Therefore, it is recommended that you do moderate cardio for 2-3 times a week and high-intensity exercises for two days a week.
2. Not Consuming Enough Protein
Nutritionists and medical practitioners around the globe have agreed on a set amount of protein that is necessary to make your body function effectively.
The recommended amount is 0.7 grams for each pound of your body weight.
It is a common mistake for people to cut down on their protein intake in addition to cutting down on calories and fat. One of the most important nutrients for muscle building and growth is protein.
Moreover, contrary to popular belief, consuming more protein can actually make you lose weight faster.
Additionally, you gain muscle mass more easily. The most convenient sources of protein are those that are high in quality and contain complete protein, example: seafood, meat, eggs, and dairy. For a vegan diet, pea protein powders are an excellent substitute as a source of protein.
3. You’ve Completely Cut Off Calories All at Once
While the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about losing weight is cutting down on calories. While this may be right up to certain extent, it isn’t fully true.
You need to be very calculative about it and don’t need to go overboard with this theory.
To get the desired results you simply need to start by reducing 100 calories a week. Eventually when the month ends, you will be doing 400 calories less than what you are used to.
It is important to understand that when you burn more calories than you consume, you can quickly begin losing muscle mass. But when done efficiently, you will lose fat and not muscle.
When your body runs out of calories from carbohydrates to convert into energy, it turns to muscle. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy calorie deficit.
For most people, it is recommended that the calorie intake level should not fall below 1000, and consequently, a deficit should be between 500-1000.
Lastly, quit sugar to see drastic results. Here’s how you can quit sugar and detox your body in less than 1 week.
4. No Weight Training
You cannot just consume protein, do some body weight exercises once a week, and expect to gain muscle.
This is because muscles do not grow themselves unless they are appropriately stimulated. There is a common myth that is believed by most people struggling to lose weight that weights are only used when you are looking to bulk up. This is entirely not true.
Weightlifting is an integral part of losing weight and sustaining that weight loss.
Including Weight training in your routing help stimulates muscle growth, and this is what helps convert fat into muscle mass. Full-body exercises, including squats, lunges, and push-ups using weights, are the safest and most effective when looking to lose weight and build muscle mass.
5. Blindly Trusting “Magic” Foods
Social media websites and the internet, in general, is no stranger to leading its audience into doing and believing the most absurd things.
There are no super foods that burns fat overnight, period. There are certain tyoes of food that goes well in a weight loss diet plan. But the foods alone won’t help you to lose weight.
Science and logic both argue that there are no such foods that can work in mysterious ways to help you get fit within months.
Keep in mind that there are definitely some foods like fruits and vegetables that are recommended for your weight loss journey, but that is because they contain good amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
What’s important to understand is that weight loss does not depend on which foods you eat but rather of which type of foods you eat.
Your body only works to break down the food that you consume, and it is on you to consume those products that are the best fitting for your calorie budget.
6. Sleep Deprivation
The biggest favor you can do for your body to get enough sleep every night.
Regardless of whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, relieve stress, heal from an injury, or regain your mental strength, effective sleep is your first step.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain produces a hormone called cortisol in high amounts. Also known as the stress hormone, increased levels of cortisol are harmful to your body because it makes your body convert carbohydrates into fat.
Moreover, it can also increase fat storage around your abdomen, leading to a larger looking belly. 7-8 hours of sleep are the recommended number universally, and in order to do anything productive the next day, it is vital that you gift yourself with this many hours for sleep during the night.
7. Unrealistic Expectations
Perhaps your biggest enemy in gaining or retaining any type of muscle mass is your own mind. Believing in outrageous weight loss or muscle gain goals can get you nowhere.
Having unrealistic expectations does not only hinder your progress but also leads to increased levels of frustration, which can cause relapses from your healthy diet and generate a bigger urge to cheat.
What you can do is set small achievable goals each week and work towards them individually.
You can talk to your nutritionist and divide your calorie and protein intake over all the meals in a week. Taking small, productive steps is what matters most.
Cutting down on calories is not the only way to go about your weight loss or muscle mass gaining journey.
There are numerous factors that you need to consider before making any decisions regarding your diet and workout routine.
Make sure to avoid the mistakes mentioned above in order to make the most out of your efforts and not let them go waste.
Perhaps the key to all things fitness is motivation, commitment, and the right information. Using these precautions, learn to strike a balance between the compositions of your food, and before you know it, you will be your own nutrition expert
Most importantly, always remember that there is no hurdle too high for you to go past.